Welcome to the Team: Kaelin Kennedy, LCSW!

July 28, 2022 by chrysalis

You are not necessarily new to Chrysalis. Please tell us about your training and experience prior to joining Chrysalis in a professional capacity.
That’s true! I interned at Chrysalis from January 2021 to May 2022 while I was earning my master’s degree in social work. Before that, I worked as a researcher with people with schizophrenia, as a hospital safety attendant, as a bystander intervention educator, and as a childcare worker.

Is your current job at Chrysalis consistent with your vision when you decided to pursue your MSW? If not, what made you change course?
To be perfectly candid, I had never thought about treating eating disorders before I was placed at Chrysalis. I knew I wanted to be a therapist, but at the time I wanted to work mostly with PTSD. However, by the end of my first few weeks at Chrysalis, I had changed my mind. I found a real passion for working with people with eating disorders; I loved watching my clients come back to life and grow into more self-compassionate, happier versions of themselves as they renourished. I enjoyed how much my clients wanted to get to know themselves and understand why the eating disorder had taken over. This wasn’t quite what I had expected, but I’m so grateful for the twist of fate that brought me to such a fulfilling therapy specialty.
You have had a publication already! Please tell us about your research and writing.
I do! My professor and I wrote a piece on ethics in treating eating disorders among trans and non-binary clients for a small social work magazine. I’ve done a good bit of research on working with this unique client group, and I’m thankful to my gender-diverse clients for what they’ve taught me through practice. Eating disorders can show up and function differently among non-cisgender clients, but their experiences are often not reflected in the cisgender-biased treatment they receive. We’re working to change that at Chrysalis so that all clients can access identity-affirming, supportive therapy.
What would you like your clients to know before their first session with you?
Please know how grateful I am for your vulnerability and willingness to show up. Therapy can be really tough, and I know that I’m asking for a lot of trust when I ask for your thoughts, feelings, and secrets. That trust is really important to me, and I try to honor it by being open and honest with you in return.
Rainy days in the house or sunny days at the beach?
Ooh, tough one. I like both– I love curling up with my dog and a good book– but I’d have to say sunny day at the beach. I dreamed of living close to the ocean as a kid, and I’m so excited that after two years in Wilmington, I’m finally learning how to surf!

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